Textile Exchange recognises that cattle rearing is a significant driver of deforestation and so its initiative aims to bring about collective action and transform the leather industry’s impact on natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

Brands that join the initiative are expected to take several measures, including setting leather sourcing requirements, mapping supply chains to the slaughterhouse level, making financial investments to increase the supply of traceable and deforestation-free leather, implementing traceability systems, and committing to respect human rights throughout the entire bovine leather supply chain. Progress will be reported annually through Textile Exchange’s Materials Benchmark and the Leather Working Group’s Sourcing Declaration.

Leading brands and retailers have answered the call, with signatories such as Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO), AllSaints, Arezzo&Co, BMW Group, Capri Holdings, H&M Group, Icebug, Kering, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Puma, Range Revolution, Reformation, Roots, R.M.Williams, and Tapestry committing to source all their bovine leather from deforestation-free supply chains by 2030 or earlier.

These brands will report their progress annually through the Textile Exchange Materials Benchmark, ensuring transparency and accountability.

The goals of the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather include leveraging the influence of consumer-facing leather brands to drive change in value chains, ensuring a fair distribution of responsibility for protecting forests and ecosystems, increasing the availability of verified deforestation and conversion-free cattle farms, improving transparency in supply chains, and facilitating collective progress through reporting.

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather was developed in consultation with prominent organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi).

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It sets clear expectations for brands and provides them with guidance and tools to implement sustainable practices. With the leather industry facing challenges in identifying the sources of raw materials due to complex and opaque supply chains, immediate action is needed to tackle deforestation and conversion linked to leather sourcing.

Transforming cattle farming practices requires collaboration and alignment among various stakeholders in the leather and beef industries. The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather serves as a platform to drive change on the ground and achieve the desired outcomes of sustainable and responsible leather sourcing.